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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Encounter; Confession & Benediction;

(Written Wednesday, September 23rd 2015)
This past Saturday I attended an AMAZING event I attend every time possible. Encounter Cincinnati. Many of you may know what it is or have been to it yourself, I'm still gonna give my perspective of it. Encounter Cincinnati is a youth event that consists of music, a keynote speaker, Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, and my favorite part; Confession.
The night starts out with social time, about a half of an hour. During this time you meet amazing teens that love Jesus as much as you. You also get to meet Priests, Seminarians, Sisters, other religious and some Amazing youth ministers. We start with music, upbeat, prayerful, religious music, you'll get hooked on this stuff, I have a 4 hour Spotify Playlist of music just from Encounter. Then the MC, usually Courtney Brown (an awesome dude by the way) [yes, Courtney is a guy] begins with a prayer, then helps us get comfortable with the people around us by doing icebreakers. I have made quite a few friends [acquaintances] from this, it really does break the Ice. Then Courtney introduces the keynote, I have been to so many Encounters it's hard to talk about one, the keynote usually talks about the Gospel for that weekend or another weekend and breaks it down for us, they use examples of stuff that comes to teens easily, sports, school, social media, etc. and most of the time they make it humorous so it's easier to remember. We have had many Amazing key note speakers over the years, Fr. Dan the new vocations director for the Archdiocese, a Consecrated Single Woman, youth ministers and other awesome people.

Then after the keynote, the best part of the night. Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction. It is amazing to see over 700 teens drop to their knees at the Awesomeness of Jesus Christ. Then they invite us to go to Confessions, we owe it all to the priests who come every time to Absolve us of our sins. This past Encounter wasn't quite the biggest with overall attendance, but, almost every teen went to confession, the line stretched nearly completely around the Underground. That was the longest line for Confession I had ever seen, which is saying a lot. When in line for Confession the Eucharistic Procession came right past me.
In the picture on the right, my hands are
the ones lower down. I almost could touch Jesus!! This is the most amazing thing that I have experienced at Encounter. After Eucharistic Adoration came Benediction, which meant our time in the physical presence of Jesus was almost up. Then the recession of the Blessed Sacrament and some more music. After that's over with comes small groups, my whole small group were good friends of mine. In small groups there are a few questions to guide discussion around the theme/talk of Encounter and your Encounter with the Lord that night. After small groups there is closing prayer and more social time, I finally got an Encounter shirt!! (top) There is much more to the Amazing experience of Encounter that cannot be captured in writing or words. This is something that can only be explained through experience. If you live in the Cincinnati area and are Eight grade through High School, please visit http://encountercincinnati.org/ for more info. You won't regret going and I hope to see you there.

Your Brother In Christ,
Robert Richter